Early Years Scrapbook, compiled by Stirling Moss and Philip Porter
The following illustrations are a small sample taken from the Stirling Moss Scrapbook 1929-1954, published by Porter Press, compiled by Stirling Moss and Philip Porter
Aileen Moss, Stirling’s mother, was a keen competitor pre-war and winner of the Ladies' Trials Championship. Here she shows off her impressive array of trophies. Her cars included a 1.5-litre Singer and at least one Marendaz.
Stirling discovered girls, or ‘crumpet’ to use his favourite expression, at a rather earlier age than most young men of his generation. This traineee sex goddess was rather appropriately called Marlene. With his girlfriend Sylvia, he was caught in flagrante delicto when he was 16 - by his mother!
Here Stirling is seen rushing through the bottom ‘S’ at Shelsley Walsh, the famous Worcestershire hillclimb, on his way to a tight but splendid win. For a car of the Cooper’s relatively modest power, it is unlikely the bends lower down, known as Kennel and Crossing, would have required more than straight-lining at full throttle, but the challenge was to get the Esses just right and leave one’s gentle braking as late possible yet still power the car through the faster bottom ‘S’ before the gradient pares off some speed and narrows into the tighter top ‘S’.
The world was starting to take notice of a very young racing driver by the name of Stirling Moss and he was receiving more and more press coverage, as this cutting from the former national newspaper, the Daily Graphic, illustrates.
Stirling’s Mark III Cooper was anodised light green, rather than being painted cream like his Mark II, because the methanol fuel was found to be a most effective paint-stripper! The new car also benefitted from rack and pinion steering, long-range pannier tanks and a better seat with leather-covered ‘wedges’ which could be slotted in beside Stilrling’s hips to provide more support.
When he started racing, Stirling acquired a rather less sporty form of every day transport in the shape of this Morris Minor - or maybe the fact that it had a back seat was an overwhelming consideration! Meanwhile, sister Pat was making a considerable name for herself in the show-jumping world.
In August 1950 the weather at Silverstone for the BRDC meeting was atrocious and, even though Alfred had managed to borrow a visor for his son, Stirling became seriously soaked due to the off-set position of the HWM’s seat which meant that all the spray from the right hand front wheel headed straight for the driver! However, he did a brilliant job and managed to finish sixth amidst a strong field of F1 and F2 cars, and was said to be cornering faster than anyone else.
Stirling glances at a publication which reviewed the 1950 season and to which he had contributed. The photo on the back cover is of the first Production Car Race, the XK 120’s debut event and first victory. Stirling would later have his own XK 120 and race a number.
Ken Gregory and Stirling appear to be enjoying the company at the Chelsea Arts Club Ball, New Year’s Eve, 1952. Difficult to say what the fancy dress theme was!
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